Tulsa-Based Cherokee Nation Businesses Worried About Sequestration
TULSA, Oklahoma - Federal money has a big reach in Oklahoma. Tulsa-based Cherokee Nation Businesses has contracts, across the country, which are funded through Washington.
And CNB leaders are worried it won't be immune to the effects of sequestration.
The Cherokee Nation has a hand in a lot of money making endeavors.
"It can be building something for the government, it can be providing a staffing type of service, it can be providing technology deployments, software database, etc.," said Steven Bilby.
Bilby is President of the Cherokee Nation Diversified Businesses division, responsible for basically everything but gambling and entertainment.
It has 1,300 employees in 45 states, working in four major areas: information technology, security and defense, environmental and construction and healthcare. It often provide these services for the military and other governmental agencies. In fact, 97 percent of its revenue is from government contracts.
Bilby said he spends every day wondering how the big federal budget cuts of sequestration will impact his division.
"We don't know how those will ultimately play out and/or impact our business. I think, over the next 30 days or so, we'll learn a lot more," Bilby said.
He said he's been meeting with his staff to look at different ways to handle the sequestration, but he doesn't expect it to result in a loss of jobs. He hopes Washington can solve this problem soon, but whatever happens, he said the Cherokee Nation will be ready.
"Our focus is on providing products and services to the government. That's where we excel, so we'll continue to do that," Bilby said. "We'll help the government in many ways. We can help them become more efficient and do great things to support them over the long term."
Bilby said his division of the CNB is on track to do $185 million in business, this year alone.